Health systems and professionals
WHO recommended strategies for strengthening health systems
A more systematic approach to engaging health professionals in tobacco control is also needed, starting with training. It is also necessary to build countries' capacity to strengthen primary health-care systems to make brief tobacco interventions available through primary health-care services. The following summarizes WHO recommended strategies for strengthening health systems:
- identify models to integrate brief tobacco interventions into the existing primary health-care programme,
- support health professionals to quit tobacco use,
- develop training materials on strengthening primary health-care systems for treating tobacco dependence and facilitate training workshops at country level.
Studies show that even brief advice from health professionals can increase tobacco abstinence rates up to 30%. Interventions for smoking cessation led by nurses have shown to increase the chance of successfully quitting smoking by up to 50%. There also needs to be a systematic approach for incorporating brief tobacco interventions (the "5 A's" and "5 R's") into primary health-care services.